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Copyright, 1883. 

By E. T. CORBETT. 



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Pagb. 

A Retrospect, • 37 

An Ideal Shattered, . . . , . .57 

An Intercepted Letter, 66 

Deacon Thrush in Meeting, 19 

Diamond Cut Diamond, 61 

Eunice Gray, 6g 

Jack's Letter, 72 

Jerusha 27 

Jimmy O'Rourke's Troubles, 45 

Miss Minerva's Disappointment, . . . .24 

Old Abel's Experience, 14 

Old Lochinvar, 64 

The Clock-Ghost, . 33 

The Foreclosure of the Mortgage, ... 9 

The Newsboy 52 

The Old Deacon's Lament, 5 

The Sad Story of Blobbs and His Pullet, . . 54 

The Seamstress' Story, 42 

The Village Sewing Society, 31 

What Biddy Said in the Police Court, . . 49 



©Jfte ©Fil iSeacor^^x^ l^ament*. 



\7ES, I 've been deacon of our church 
@y Nigh on to fifty year, 
Walked in the way of dooty, too, 

And kep' my conscience clear. 
I 've watched the children growin' up, 

Seen brown locks turnin' gray, 
But never saw sech doin's yet 

As those I Ve seen to-day. 



This church was built by godly men, 

To glorify the Lord, 
In seventeen hundred eighty-eight: 

Folks could n't then afford 
Carpets and cushings and sech like — 

The seats were jest plain wood, 
Too narrer for the sleepy ones, 

In prayer we alius stood. 



And when the hymns were given out 

I tell you it was grand 
To hear our leader start the tunes 

With tunin' fork in hand! 
Then good old "China,'* "Mear," and all 

Were heard on Sabbath days, 
And men and women, girls and boys, 

J'ined in the song of praise. 



But that old pulpit was my pride — 

Jest eight feet from the ground 
They 'd reared it up — on either side 

A narrer stairs went down; 
The front and eends were fitly carved 

With Scripter stories all — 
Findin' of Moses, Jacob's dream. 

And sinful Adam's fall. 



Jest room inside to put a cheer. 

The Bible on the ledge 
(I '11 own I did get narvous when 

He shoved it to the edge). 
There, week by week, the parson stood, 

The Scripter to expound ; 
There, man and boy, I 've sot below. 

And not a fault was found. 



Of course I 've seen great changes made 

(And fought agenst 'em too), 
But first a choir was interdooced, 

Then cushings in each pew. 
Next, boughten carpet for the floor. 

And then, that very year, 
We got our new melodeon. 

And the big shandyleer ! 



Well! well! I tried to keep things straight- 

I went to ev'ry meetin', 
And voted " No " to all they said. 

But found my influ'nce fleetin! 
At last the worst misfortin' fell — 

I musthlsLme Deacon Brown: 
He helped the young folks when they said 

The pulpit should come down. 



They laughed at all those pious scenes 

I 'd found so edifyin'; 
Said, "When the parson rose to preach 

He looked a'most like flyin';" 
Said that " Elijah's chariot 

Jest half-way up had tarried;" 
And Deacon Brown sot by and laughed, 

And so the p'int was carried. 



This was last week. The carpenters 

Have nearly made an end — 
Excoose my feelin's. Seems to me 

As ef I 'd lost a friend. 
" It made their necks ache, lookin' up,' 

Was what the folks did say — 
More lookin' up would help us all 

In this degin'rate day. 



The church won't never seem the same 

(I 'm half afeard) to me, 
Under the preachin' of the truth 

I 've ben so used to be. 
And now — to see our parson stand 

Like any common man, 
With jest a railin' round his desk — 

I do n't believe I can ! 



©Ifte iJorecfox^ure o^ tfte 
Mortgage. 



(^a/ALK right in the settin'-room, Deacon; it 's 

^^ Y all in a muddle, you see, 

But I hadn't no heart to right it, so I Ve jest let 

everything be. 
Besides, I 'm a-goin' to-morrer — I calk'late to start 

with the dawn — 
And the house won't seem so home-like if it 's all 

upsot and forlorn. 
I sent off the children this mornin': they both on 

-» 'em begged to stay, 

But I thought 't would be easier, mebbe, if I was 

alone to-day. 
For this was the very day. Deacon, jest twenty 

year ago. 
That Caleb and me moved in; so I couldn't forgit 

it, you know. 
We was so busy and happy!— we 'd ben married a 

month before — 
And Caleb would clear the table and brush up the 

kitchen floor. 



He said I was tired, and he 'd help me; but lawf 

that was always his way — 
Always handy and helpful, and kind, to the very 

last day. 
Do n't you remember. Deacon, that winter I broke 

my arm ? 
Why, Caleb skursely left me, not even to 'tend to 

the farm. 
There night and mornin' I saw him, a-settin' so 

close to my bed, 
And I knew him in spite of the fever that made me 

so wild in my head. 
He never did nothin* to grieve me, until he left me 

behind — 
Yes, I know, there 's no use in talkin', but somehow 

it eases my mind. 
And he sot such store by you, Deacon, I need n't 

tell you now. 
But unless he had your jedgment, he never would 

buy a cow. 
Well, our cows is gone, and the horse too — poor 

Caleb was fond of Jack, 
And I cried like a fool this mornin' when I looked 

at the empty rack. 
I hope he'll be kindly treated: 'twould worry poor 

Caleb so 
If them Joneses should whip the critter — but I 

s'pose he ain't like to know. 
I 've ben thinkin' it over lately, that when Mary 

sickened and died. 
Her father's sperrit was broken, for she was alius 

his pride. 



He wasn't never so cheery; he'd smile, but the 

smile wa' n't bright, 
And he didn't care for the cattle, though once 

they 'd ben his delight. 
The neighbors all said he was ailin*, and they tried 

to hint it to me; 
They talked of a church -yard cough; but, oh! the 

blind are those who won't see. 
I never believed he was goin' till I saw him a-layin' 

here dead. — 
There, there! don't be anxious. Deacon, I haven't 

no tears to shed. 
I 've tried to keep things together — I 've ben slavin' 

early and late — 
But I could n't pay the int'rest, nor git the farm- 
work straight. 
So of course I 've gone behindhand, and if the 

farm should sell 
For enough to pay the mortgage, I s'pose 't will be 

doin' well. 
I 've prayed aginst all hard feelin's, and to walk 

as a Christian ought, 
But it 's hard to see Caleb's children turned out of 

the place he bought; 
And readin' that text in the Bible 'bout widows and 

orphans, you know, 
I can 't think the folks will prosper who are willin' 

to see us go. 
But there! I 'm a-keepin' you, Deacon, and it 's 

nigh your time for tea. 
" Won't I come over r No, thank you; I feel bet- 
ter alone, you see. 



Besides, I could n't eat nothin'; whenever I 've tried 

it to-day 
There 's somethin' here that chokes me. I 'm nar- 

vous, I s'pose you '11 say. 
" I 've worked too hard ?" No, I have n't. Why 

it 's work that keeps me strong; 
If I sot here thinkin', I 'm sartain my heart would 

break before long. 
Not that I care about livin*. I 'd ruther be laid 

away 
In the place I 've marked beside Caleb, to rest till 

the jedgment-day. 
But there 's the children to think of— that makes 

my dooty clear. 
And I '11 try to foller it. Deacon, though I 'm tired 

of this earthly speer. 
Good-by, then. I shan't forgit you, nor all the 

kindness you Ve showed; 
'T will help to cheer me to-morrer, as I go on my 

lonely road. 
For — What are you sayin'. Deacon ? I need n't — I 

need n't go ? 
You 've bought the mortgage, and I can stay ? 

Stop! say it over slow. — 
Jest wait now — jest wait a minute — I *11 take it in 

bime-by 
That I can stay. Why, Deacon, I do n't know what 

makes me cry! 
I have n't no words to thank you. Ef Caleb was 

only here. 
He 'd sech a head for speakin', he 'd make my feel- 

in's clear. 



There 's a picter in our old Bible of an angel from 

the skies, 
And though he has n't no great-coat, and no spec- 
tacles on his eyes. 
He looks jest like you. Deacon, with your smile so 

good and trew, 
And whenever I see that picter, 't will make mc 

think of you. 
The children will be so happy! AVhy, Debby will 

most go wild; 
She fretted so much at leavin' her garding behind, 

poor child! 
And law! I 'm as glad as Debby, ef only for jest 

one thing — 
Now I can tend the posies I planted there last 

spring 
On Caleb's grave: he loved the flowers, and it seems 

as ef he '11 know 
They 're a-bloomin' all around him while he 's 

sleepin' there below. 



13 



0f(^ oK'BeF^x^ Q^peYience. 



AO you *re thinking of marriage, Joseph — well, 

well, I 've naught to say ; 
Most young folks (and some of the old ones) seem 

to incline that way. 
But I Ve always liked you, Joseph ; you 've been very 

kind to me, 
And to know you 're coming to trouble, why, it 

makes me sorry, you see. 

There now, Joseph, you 're angry — *t was foolish in 

me, no doubt ; 
I didn't mean to say it, but somehow the words 

slipped out. 
You '11 have to forgive me, Joseph? you know I 'm 

silly and old, — 
Shake hands — and I '11 tell you a story that has 

never yet been told ; 
And perhaps when my story 's ended, you '11 be 

ready, my friend, to say, 
'' Old Abel has very good reason for his doubts and 

fears to-day." 



I was sixty-five last birthday — I 'm gray and wrink- 
led, 't is true ; 
But forty years ago, Joseph, I was young and as 

spry as you, 
And Amy said I was handsome — how proud it 

made me then ! 
Not the praise, but the thought that Amy preferred 

me to other men. 

She was a little beauty, sweet and dimpled and fair. 
You never saw such a mouth, Joseph, nor such 
brown eyes and hair. 

And she had such a coaxing way, too, that — I was 
a fool, I know. 

And I 'm hardly cured of my folly, though it 's for- 
ty years ago. 

Amy and I were playmates ; we went to school 

together ; 
I carried her books and her basket through summer 

or winter weather. 

Later, at husking frolics, at quilting or apple bee, 
I was always her chosen sweetheart, and that was 
bliss for me. 

Time and thoughts and service gladly to her I 

gave; 
She was my queen, my idol — I was her willing slave. 
And so, when she was twenty, and I was twenty-five. 
We were married ; I thought that I was the happiest 

man alive. 



15 



I fairly cried when the parson pronounced us man 

and wife, 
For had n't I won the angel I 'd been worshipping 

all my life ? 
Well, the wedding was fairly over, and I thought to 

settle down ; 
I 'd built and furnished a cottage as pretty as any 

in town. 

Whatever I knew she fancied I could n't rest till 

I bought, 
So in trying to please my darling, I spent far more 

than I ought. 

But when she smiled, and called me ^^ dear Abel," 

and praised my taste. 
What did I care if the neighbors talked of folly 

and waste ? 
For a little while I was happy : too soon I was forced 

to see 
That Amy could be neglectful, and even cruel to me. 
When sometimes I hinted gently that the house was 

n't very neat. 
Or left the food untasted that was scarcely fit to eat. 
She 'd answer me so harshly, and say such cutting 

things. 
They gave me many a heartache : ah ! words have 

terrible stings ! 
At last I saw it plainly — her life too dull had grown; 
She was tired of her homely duties — tired of seeing 

me alone. 

I was always content and happy just at her side to be, 

i6 



But she — and that was bitter — found something 
wanting in me. 

It *s too long a story, Joseph, to tell you how I strove 
To please and interest Amy, and to keep her fading 

love ; 
My farm was left untended, my stock to ruin went, 
While we journeyed about and idled, till my little 

fortune was spent ; 
Then back we went to our cottage — it never had 

been a hoi7ie j 
It could only grow more cheerless in the weary 

years to come. 

Weary and dreary I found themx, till I grew to hate 

my life. 
And to think hard thoughts of all women, because 

I was grieved in my wife. 
One day — can I ever forget it ? — we 'd been married 

just seven years — 
I went out as usual, wretched, leaving Amy in 

angry tears. 

As I walked I found myself praying that God 
would send help to me, 

Never thinking — oh, never thinking — of what the 
answer might be ! 

Before that day was over I stood by Amy's bed, 

And saw her peaceful and smiling and beautiful — 
yes, and — dead ! 

I had said my love was over, but then I knew I 
was wrong ; 

Knew when I kissed her, my darling, I 'd been lov- 
ing her all along ; 



Knew when I looked at the baby, laid on her arm 

to rest, 
That my heart was dead within me, and I 'd only a 

stone in my breast. 

Well, there 's little more to tell you — I could n't bear 

to stay 
In the house I had built for Amy ; 1 sold it, and 

moved away. 

Where to go next, I knew not — all places were 

much the same — 
Till my nephew wrote and bade me come here, 

and so I came. 

Since then I 've hardly noticed how the lonely 

years went on ; 
I 've had chances for making money, but my energy 

seemed gone. 
Besides, I wanted so little, and why should I toil 

and save. 
When she who should have spent it rests in her 

quiet grave ? 
Now you see it 's natural, Joseph, that I should have 

doubts and fears 
When I think of my disappointment, and all my 

lonely years. 
And yet — I 've often thought it — if I was twenty-five. 
And had my life all before me, and Amy once more 

alive, 
1 'd marry her — never doubt it — and love her, yes ! 

all the same ; 
So, after all is said, Joseph, you 're not so much 

to blame. 



©eacoa iJftruAft in Meeting. 



LETTER FROM HANNAH BROWN TO SISTER HULDAH. 



QEAR HULDY,— I must tell you 'bout the way 

that our new deacon 
Has sot the church folks by the ears— to use that 

mode o' speakin'. 
It's jest that orful voice of his 'n — But, law! I 'd 

best begin 
And tell my story straight ahead, or else things 

won't fit in. 
Last spring we felt that we was blessed, to think 

that Deacon Thrush 
Was comin' up from Simpkinsville to live in Cedarr 

brush. 
" He '11 be a piller in our church," says father, the 

first thing. 
I wish he was a piller, Huldy, for then he could n't 

smg. 
He bought the Joneses' farm, you know, and moved 

in last of May. 
But that first time he come to church — I can 't for- 

git that day. 



19 



The openin' hymn was skursly read, the choir Avas 

just a-risin*, 
When everybody turned and looked, a sound came 

so surprisin'. 
'T was somethin' like the old church bell, 't was 

somethin' like the ocean, 
'T was most like Bijah Morrow's bull, accordin' to 

my notion. 
It fairly drowned my playin' out; it left the tune 

behind: 
I never though that sech a voice could come from 

human kind. 
Like thunder-claps and factory gear through all our 

heads 't was ringin'. 
And, Huldy, it was nothin' else than Deacon Thrush 

a-singin'! 
Yes, there he sot, with book in hand, as peaceful 

and as calm 
As if he thought his dooty lay in murd'rin' that 

poor psalm. 
He never see the old folks' smiles; he never heerd 

the giggle 
That went up from the gallery. I watched our par- 
son wriggle 
And fidget in the pulpit, while poor father's head 

was shakin*; 
But on went Deacon Thrush, and seemed real 

comfort to be takin'. 
And when we stopped he could n't stop, he 'd got 

sech headway on; 
His voice went boomin' up and down, and flattin* 

so forlorn 



That, though he tried to choke it off, it mixed up 

with the text, 
And made poor Parson Edwards skip his words, 

and then look vexed. 
I could n't hear that sermon, Huldy; my thoughts 

was all astray, 
A-wonderin' ef Deacon Thrush would sing agen 

that day. 
I might have spared my thinkin', though, for that 

misguided man 
Jest started off the same old way before the rest 

began. 
But when the second verse was reached, the choir 

put down their books; 
I stopped myplayin'; back and forth we cast de- 

spairin* looks; 
The boys set up to laugh agen; the parson raised 

his hand 
And shouted, but the noise was sech we couldn't 

understand; 
While Deacon Thrush was leanin* back, his eyelids 

nearly closin', 
A-singin' like an angel on a bed of clouds re- 

posin'. 
I '11 have to cut my story short. Next day they 

called a meetin', 
Resolved to keep poor Deacon Thrush sech singin' 

from repeatin'. 
They 'p'inted Uncle Job to go with father and re- 
quest 
That Deacon Thrush would kindly leave the singin' 

to the rest. 



Perhaps you think he took the hint ? Then, Huldy, 

you 're mistaken. 
He listened till they 'd said their say; then, with the 

smiles a-breakin'. 
He answered, jest as cheerfully: " Yes, brethering 

— ye^, I know 
I have my faults: I sometimes git the tune a leetle 

slow, 
And sometimes, tryin' to ketch up, I take an extry 

flight. 
But takin' one verse with the next, that makes 

things jest come right. 
Now when you ask me not to sing, why, breth'ring, 

I can 't do it: 
Singin's my dooty and delight, and I must jest pur- 
sue it. 
And while I tread this vale of tears, a sinful child 

of dust, 
Rejoicin* is my privilege — rejoice I will and 

must." 
Well, 't wa'n't no use, as Uncle Job and father said 

next day. 
The deacon, though a pious man, was sot in his 

own way. 
He 's sung in meetin' ever sence — there 's not a seat 

to spare; 
And, oh! secli sinful whisperin' and nudgin' every 

where! 
Then when the hymns is given out, you *11 hear a 

gineral " Hush!" 
While everybody's eyes and ears is turned to Dea- 
con Thrush. 



He 's skeered the little children so that most of *em 

keeps cryin'; 
The very horses in the shed won't stand no more 

'thoLit tyin'; 
He makes the onconverted laugh, while godly 

souls are grievin', 
And yet he 's sech a Christian man, it 's almost past 

believin*. 
They're talkin' now of try in' law, but father he 

opposes. 
And so I '11 write agen next week to tell you how it 

closes. 

P.S. 

Oh, Huldy! sech a curus thing! As Deacon Thrush 

was bringin' 
His apples home, he thought to cheer the way by 

sacred singin'. 
His team took fright and ran away. The neighbors 

found him lyin' 
All in a heap, and took him home, and now the 

good man 's dyin*. 
And, Huldy, ef it is n't wrong, I 'm glad to think 

he 's goin' 
Where all the folks know how to sing, and he can 

get a showin'! 



23 



Mi// M!ner>s)a^A©!/appoit2tmen'r, 



\7ES, Debby, 't was a disapp'intment; and though, 
(§/ of course, I try 

To look as ef I did n't mind it, I won't tell jw/ a lie. 
Ye see, he 'd ben a-comin' stiddy, and our folks sez, 

sez they, 
" It 's you, Minervy, that he 's arter; he 's sure to 

pop some day." 
He 'd walk in with the evenin' shadders, set in that 

easy-chair, 
And praise my doughnuts, kinder sighin' about a 

bachelor's fare. 
And then his talk was so improvin', he made the 

doctrines plain, 
And when he 'd p'int a moral, allers looked straight 

at Mary Jane. 
She 'd laugh, and give sech silly answers that no one 

could approve; 
But, law ! the men can 't fool 77ie^ Debby — it is n't 

sense they love. 
It 's rosy cheeks, and eyes a-sparklin'. Yes, yes, you 

may depend 
That when a woman 's smart and handy, knows how 

to bake and mend, 



And keep her house and husband tidy, why, the 

fools will pass her by, 
Bekase she 's spent her youth a-learnin' their wants 

to satisfy. 
Now Mr. Reed was allers talkin' of what a wife 

should be; 
So, Debby, was it any wonder I thought his hints 

meant me ? 
And then when Mary Jane would giggle, and he 

would turn so red. 
Could jj'^z/ have guessed that they was courtin', when 

not a word was said ? 
It all came out at last so sudden. 'T was Wednesday 

of last week. 
When Mr. Reed came in quite flustered. Thinks I, 

"He means to speak." 
I *11 own my heart beat quicker, Debby; for though, 

of course, it 's bold 
To like a man before he offers, I thought him good 

as gold. 
Well, there we sot. I talked and waited; he hem- 
med and coughed awhile: 
He seemed so most oncommon bashful I could n't 

help but smile. 
I thought about my pine-tar balsam that drives a 

cough away. 
And how when we was fairly married I 'd dose him 

every day. 
Just then he spoke: " Dear Miss Minervy, jw^ must 

hev seen quite plain 
That I 'm in love — -" " I hev," I answers. Scz he, 

''—with Mary Jafu^ 

as 



" WMi did I do 7'' I nearly fainted, 'twas sech a 

^ cruel shock; 
Yet there I had to set, as quiet as ef I was a rock. 
And hear about her "girlish sweetness," and "bud- 
din' beauty" too. 
Do n't talk to me of martyrs, Debby — I know what 

I 've gone through. 
Well, that 's the end. The weddin 's settled for 

June, he 's in such haste. 
I 've given her the spreads I quilted, so they won't 

go to waste. 
I 'd planned new curtains for his study, all trimmed 

with bands of blue. 
I 'm sure her cookin' never '11 suit him- — he 's fond 

of eatin' too. 
Well, no, I wa' n't at meetin' Sunday. I do n't find 

Mr. Reed 
Is quite asedifyin' lately; he can't move me^ indeed. 
And, Debby, when you see how foolish a man in 

love can act, 
You can 't hev sech a high opinion of him^ and that 's 

a fact. 
" / do n't look wellf Spring weather, mebbe: it 's 

gittin' warm, you know. 
Good-by; I 'm goin' to Uncle Jotham's, to stay a 

week or so. 



26 



^erux&fta, 



T-PANNAH, you know how hard I *ve worked and 
^^ slaved — yes, all my life, 

But it 's harder work than all the rest to live with 

Jacob's wife! 
For all she speaks so very low, and looks so mild 

and meek, 
I knew we could n't git along — I saw it that first 

week. 
Of course I 've tried — I hope I know what Christian 

dooty means — 
But would n't it vex a saint to hear her sniff at pork 

and beans ? 
Openin' the parlor windows too, and puUin' up the 

shades, 
Although I 've told her every day how fast that car- 
pet fades; 
And lightin' up the house at nights — it makes me 

mad to see 
How Jacob humors all her whims — a savin' man 

like he. 
She brings in common stones and moss, and talks 

of "Nater's beauties;" 



She 'd show more sense, it seems to me, jest tendin* 

to her dooties' 
You know my chany vases, Hannah ? well, that was 

worst of all; 
I 've kept 'em in the closet there, for fear they 'd git 

a fall. 
She took 'em out and filled *em with her ferns and 

leaves one day. 
But when / dusted up the room I flung the things 

away! 
So Jacob took her part, of course, and bought 

another pair — 
AVell! if he wants to be a fool I 'm sure I need n't 

care. 
He even takes two magazines to please her, though 

for me 
He grudged to buy a paper, but she 's his wife^ you 

see. 
And sisters (Hannah I 've found it so) are nothin' 

more than slaves, 
Jest fit to work and pinch and save, then drop into 

their graves! 
I *11 go to Uncle John's instead — I hinted it last 

night — 
Hannah, she 's too provokin' — would you think 

she' d laugh outright ? 
And Jacob ? well, of course he said, " Jerushy, do n't 

you go; 
This is your rightful home" — but law! they'll both 

be glad, I know. 
And now I 'm packin' up because I 'd ruther go at 

once, 



Although two cows is cornin' in, and that hired girl 

such a dunce. 
Of course 't will be a trial, for it 's more than twenty 

year 
Since I 've kept house for Jacob, and found my 

pleasure here. 
But trials is our earthly lot, as Parson Deane would 

say, 
And proper Christian fortitood can bear us on our 

way. 
Wonder who '11 make the butter now ? I thought I 

should have cried 
When Brindle moo-ed at me last night, in spite of 

all my pride. 
But Jacob's wife was lookin* on — I would n't let her 

see 
Sech foolishness, or let her know what partin' 

means to me. 
" Why do n't I stay ?" no, Hannah, no, I 've ben the 

head too long 
To see another in my place — I must go, right or 

wrong. 
This furniture is jest as good as 't was when mother 

died; 
I 've took sech pride in keepin' it — perhaps 't was 

sinful pride — 
But now, you '11 find a change, I guess, before this 

time next year; 
You '11 see how things will go to waste — well! well! 

/ shan't be here. 
Who '11 patch and darn as I have done ? not Jacob's 

wife, I know; 



She *11 read him bits of rhymin* stuff — and let his 

buttons go; 
She '11 talk in her new-fangled way of " woman's 

proper spear," 
And he, poor soul! won't never see the dust upon 

his cheer. 
I trained up Jacob, as you know, to be so very neat, 
And always scolded if he seemed too tired to wipe 

his feet, 
I followed him with brush and broom and duster, all 

the day. 
To make his home a cheerful place — and now what 

does he say ? 
That " cleanliness is plague enough to make a good 

man swear!" 
He won't have too much cleanliness, no more, nor 

too much care. 
So good-bye, Hannah, won't you write, and tell me 

what 's amiss ? 
*T would be a sort of comfort too, since things have 

come to this. 
I 'd like to know how Jacob does, and even Jacob's 

wife. 
For somehow, leavin' them, it seems I 'm leavin' 

half my life! 



30 



ilfte ^iPFage ^^^'Qg 3^^'^^y 



U MIS' JONES is late agen to-day— 

I 'd be ashamed now ef 't was me. 
Do n't tell it, but I 've heerd folks say- 
She only comes to git her tea." 

" Law me! she need n't want it here — 

The Deacon's folks ain't much on eatin*; 
They have n't made a pie this year! 
Of course, 't won't do to be repeatin'. 

" But old Mis' Jenkins says it 's true 

(You know she lives just 'cross the way 
And sees most everything they do); 
She says she saw 'em tother day " — 

" Hush, here comes Hannah! — how d' ye do ? 

Why, what a pretty dress you 've got!" 
" (Her old merino made up new — 

/ know it by that faded spot.)" . 

" Jest look! there 's Dr. Stebbins' wife — " 
'' A bran-new dress and bunnit — well, 
They say she leads him such a life — 
But there! 1 promised not to tell. 



" What 's that Mis* Brown? ^allfj-iends* of course, 
And you can see with your own eyes 
That that gray mare 's the better horse, 
Though gossipin* I do despise." 

" Poor Mary Allen 's lost her beau — '* 
" It serves her right, conceited thing! 
She 's flirted awfully, I know. 

Say, have you heard she kept his ring ?" 

" Listen! the clock is striking six — 

Thank goodness! then it's time for tea." 

" Now ain't that too much ? Abby Mix 
Has folded up her work! just see!" 

" Why can V she wait until she 's told ? 

Yes, thank you, deacon, here we come." 
" (I hope the biscuits won't be cold, 

No coffee .'' wish I was to hum.)' 

" Do tell. Mis' Ellis — did you make 
This cheese ? the best I ever saw; 
Such jumbles too (no jelly cake) — 
I 'm quite ashamed to take one more." 

" Good-bye! we 've had a first-rate time 
And first-rate tea, I must declare — 
Mis' Ellis' things are always prime; 

(Well next week's meetin' won't be there/)'* 



iJfic dfociC €,KoM. 



U@WHERE'S that old clock of father's?" is 

V that what you want to know ? 
Wall, I wonder I hain't told you f/iaf story long ago! 
Set down, ef you'd like to hear it; but first I'll 

light the lamp, 
For it 's sure to make me shiver, and my face gits 

kinder damp. 
Did yot^ ever see a ghost ? there — you need n't begin 

to laugh; 
You *11 own it 's a solemn story before you 've heard 

the half— 
I told it to Deacon Torrey, when he stopped to tea 

one night, 
And he said 'T was a curus vision, ef we could read 

it right. 
'T was jest after father's funer'l, that 'Mandy Jane 

says, says she: 
" We '11 divide the furniture, Lyddy, but the clock 

ought to come to me ! 
'T ain't likely now that you '11 marry — you 're gittin' 

too fur along — 
And you know father alius promised — " 



33 



" I know that, right or wrong, 
The old clock shall stay in this kitchen!" says I, in 

the peaceablest way — 
But that was enough for 'Mandy — land sakes! how 

she talked that day! 
'T wasn't no use tryin' to stop her — and Jotham, he 

just sot by, 
A-helpin' her on till I got riled, and "'Mandy," I 

says, says I: 
" You can take the clock for peace' sake, but mind 

— you do 71 1 git the case /" 
And before she took in my meanin', the works and 

the old white face 
Was a-layin' there on the table — " Now, 'Mandy 

Jane," says I: 
" Jest take your clock." Wall, so she did, and went 

without a "good-by." 



That night I was kinder restless. The house was 

so lonesome and still; 
I tried to shet out the moonlight, for somehow it 

gave me a chill. 
I sot by the lire a-thinkin' — a-thinkin' of days gone 

by, 
When three of us used to set by this hearth — 

Ebenezer, and 'Mandy and I — 
Now one was dead and one married, and I was 

livin' alone. 
With no one left to love me — I cried jest then^ I 'Hi 

own. 



34 



As I thought of a few old letters tied up with a 

withered rose — 
And the time was nigh onto midnight afore my 

eyes would close. 



Somethin* waked me all of a sudden — I started up 

in my bed; 
I was jest as cool and collected, but my hair most 

riz on my head — 
For I heerd the old clock tickin' — yes! tickin' as 

plain as day — 
As ef the case warn't empty, and the insides miles 

away! 
I could n't lay still no longer; I was narvous enough 

to fly— 
"Perhaps it 's sent as a warnin'," I says to myself, 

says I. 
Then I come into this kitchen — there was the clock 

in its place, 
With the moonlight shinin' ghastly over its empty 

face — 
Sech a pale, blue light about it — in the corners the 

gloom was thick — 
Sech a deep, onearthly silence, with only that tick, 

tick, tick! — 
I could hear the pend'lum swingin', jest as it alius 

swung, 
And I tried to say, " I 'm a-dreamin' " but the words 

seemed froze on my tongue. 
I crept back into the bedroom, I shet and bolted the 

door, 



35 



I kivered my head with the bed-clothes, and says, ** I 

won't listen no more;'' 
But still I heerd it a-goin* tick^ tick, so solemn and 

slow — 
I can hear it yet, though it happened nigh on to a 

year ago. 
No wonder my flesh was creepin' — no wonder the 

candle burnt blue, 
For that was the old clock's sperrit come back to 

haunt me, I knew! 
And says I to myself, says I: " Lyddy, ef you're 

livin' at dawn of day. 
You 'd better write to 'Mandy to take the clock 

away." 

As soon as ever the sun rose, before the fire was lit, 
Or the kittle biled for breakfast, that letter of mine 

was writ — 
'Mandy come back v/ith her waggin, as pleased as 

woman could be. 
But 't warn't till I saw that clock-case out of sight 

that / breathed free. 
And though at first I missed it from its place behind 

the door, 
No money couldn't hire me to have it back no 

more! 

So now you *ve heerd the story, I hope you '11 alius 

agree 
There *s truth in apparitions, and the clock-ghost 

appeared to me! 

36 



(sK f^etrox^pect. 



J^IS forty years ago to-day since Jacob and I 

were wed — 
Long, toilsome years, with more of care than com- 
fort, I 've often said. 
But my eyes are clearer now — I see God's glory 

shining through; 
I see how my saddest, darkest days were brightened 

more than I knew! 
I was only a simple school-girl then, though Jacob 

was twenty-three, 
And my heart was full of foolish hopes, and dreams 

that v/ere not to be. 
I 'd always had an earnest wish, a craving deep and 

strong, 
For books and study— could it be that such a wish 

was wrong ? 
At least 't was thwarted every way— I worked from 

morn till night; 
Then Jacob scolded if I read and " wasted candle 

light." 
Besides, he never bought a book, and my own scanty 

store 
I almost knew by heart at last— I 'd read them o'er 

and o'er. 



37 



I loved a flower garden, too, but Jacob " had no time 
For useless posies." In their stead he planted sage 

and thyme, 
Some parsley, leeks and peppers, in beds beside the 

door. 
And wondered '' how a thrifty woman could wish 

for any more ?" 
So in my few spare moments (ah! few they were 

indeed), 
I dug and raked and planted — I 'd begged some 

roots and seed — 
Till in the summer days my flowers made all the 

door-yard bright, 
And filled my lonely, aching heart with something 

like delight. 
My little parlor was so bare, its furniture so plain, 
I used to scan the empty walls with longings full of 

pain.. 
I wanted books, and pretty prints, and curtains and 

the rest, 
But soon I learned to keep such wishes hidden in 

my breast. 
Once, I remember how I cried! a peddler was pass- 
ing our way, 
I wanted a little vase for flowers, and / had no 

money to pay; 
I ran to ask it of Jacob — he was up in the threshing 

floor; 
He said such things were nonsense, and — I can't 

forget it — he swore ! 
Well! I had to tell the peddler he must call another 

day, 

38 



And that pretty vase I wanted was bought by the 
Widow Gray. 

So passed two years — how long they were! how 

wearily I went 
About my daily tasks at length, my hope and cour- 
age spent. 
I think I must have died had not the Lord with 

tender care 
Sent little Alice to me then, a blossom sweet and 

fair. 
How oft, when aching head or limbs refused to bear 

me through, 
A kiss from those sweet baby lips would give me 

strength anew. 
My Alice — precious comforter — a woman grown is 

she; 
A wife, and children of her own are standing at her 

knee. 
And yet I always think of her a little laughing 

child, 
Whose clinging arms and loving words my saddest 

hours beguiled. 
The years went on — my little flock were added one 

by one, 
Three sturdy boys, then one more girl — my work 

was never done. 
But now my wants had fewer grown, I long had 

ceased to care 
For pretty bonnets, tasteful gowns, or ribbons in 

my hair; 



39 



Even my ardent love of books was crowded out at 

last, 
And in my little garden plot the weeds grew thick 

and fast. 
But something better had come to me, and bade me 

not repine; 
My life was in my children's merged — their hopes, 

their joys, were mine. 
To teach, to aid, to sympathize in every joy and 

need. 
To know they loved and trusted me — was happiness 

indeed. 
And when they left me, my boys to work and win 

in a wider sphere. 
My Alice to marry the man she loved — their letters 

kept them near. 
From week to week, as I read the words of love and 

cheer they sent. 
And saw them nearing their goal, my heart was full 

of a deep content: 
A sweet, unselfish joy it was, that grows with every 

year. 
As the fulness of those young, eager lives flows back 

to me, sitting here. 
And I quite forget my loneliness, and the hardest 

task grows light, 
Knowing their hopes are blossoming fair where mine 

met only blight. 
Once every year my boys come home, and Alice, 

she comes too. 
Ah, well! my later years are crowned with joys my 

youth ne'er knew. 

40 



'T is true, our house is shabby and old — the parlor 

still looks bare, 
The furniture is scarce improved by forty years of 

wear; 
The pretty porch I 've planned so oft, to keep us 

from the sun. 
With roses climbing up the sides, has never been 

begun! 
A sorry place the homestead still — but Jacob, I 

sometimes fear. 
Is learning to love and hoard his gold more closely 

with every year. 
He 's feebler than he was — ah, me! if he could only 

know 
That to work and save is not the best or the ivhole 

of life below. 
Sometimes I try (as I 've tried to-day) to recall my 

life again. 
My withered hopes, my broken plans, my hours of 

care and pain; 
And I know a reason is hid beneath that I cannot 

understand; 
But He will make it plain to me when I reach the 

better land. 
So waiting, I thank my Lord, and rest upon His 

guiding hand. 



©ffte ^eam^fte/^/^^ ^tor^. 



/^DLY she sat in her rocking-chair, 

A woman of forty, pale and plain, 
There were streaks of gray in her scant, light hair, 
On her brow deep furrows of care and pain. 

Needle and thread from her hands had dropped, 
The hands that nervously clasped and clung, 

As with voice that faltered and often stopped 
She spoke of the days when she was young. 

" Yes ! it 's twenty years since I saw him last — 
Twenty years since we said ' good bye.* 

I 've heard folks say time goes so fast — 
They couldn't have known such years as /. 

*' Twenty years ! I remember yet 

Just how he spoke and looked and stood 

When he said, 'Now, Mary, you mustn't forget 
All you have promised ' — as if I could ! 



43 



'' ' There '11 be many to tempt you away from me, 
Never heed them, whatever they say ; 

Wait for me, Mary, wait patiently, 

And think of me always, by night and by day. 

" ' Never mind if the years are long, 
I shall write when I 've time to spend ; 

I shall be true and you must be strong. 

And look to the end, Mary, look to the end ! 

" ^ One thing more, Mary, give it due heed — 
Bear your joys and your sorrows alone ; 

Then when I come I shall feel indeed 

You have been always and truly my own.' 

" So he left me — 't was hard to bear — 

My lonely life with never a friend, 
But he wrote, as he said, when he 'd time to spare, 

And I treasured his words and looked to the end. 

*' I thought of him always, by night or by day, 
Just as he bade me, his will was my law — 

And I asked no help on my weary way. 
Though often my heart was sad and sore. 

" Waiting thus for the years to pass 
I never counted them as they rolled ; 

Perhaps if I 'd cared to look in the glass 
I might have seen I was growing old. 

"And so, when fifteen years had gone. 

He sent for my picture, from over the sea ; 

Ah ! v/hen I sent it I might have known. 
If I had been wise, what the end would be. 



" By the very next mail a letter came — 
Not his — he could n't be so unkind, 

But his sister wrote and he signed his name, 
To tell me that * John had changed his mind /' 

" ' You see,' she said, *you are old and plain, 
Too old for John's wife, to tell the truth ' — 

I laid down the letter and cried, with pain, 
For had n't I given him all my youth ? 

'' Well ! there was nothing to do or say — 
John had a right to change his mind, 

I just went on in the same old way, 
Only — I left my hopes behind. 

" There were some that tried to comfort me then, 
Saying, ' Best be rid of a fickle heart,* 

And ' John was no better than other men,* 
But that never seemed to ease the smart." 

So she ended her simple tale — 

'T was an old, old story, told oft before ; 

For one heart will trust and one will fail 
Until time and change shall be no more ! 



44 



^in-irT|y ©^f^ourfte^x^ Urou6fex^. 



^HAT was a sorry day for me, whin first I crossed 

the say, 
For shure I left my heart behind, wid pretty Biddy 

McKay ; 
We 'd bin a courtin' sivin years,*an' the weddin' day 

was set. 
But times was bad in ould Ireland thin, an' money 

hard to get. 
My brother Patrick kep* writin' out an' urgin* me tq 

come, 
So at last I sez, " Biddy, darlint, I 'm goin' to thry 

for a home ; 
Jist wait for one year, mavourneen, an' see what 

Jimmy can do — 
Shure an' I '11 work an' pinch an* save — tJwi darlint, 

I'll sind for you !" 
So Biddy promised to wait an' hope — she came to 

the ship wid me. 
And kissed me whin I said good-bye, though ivery 

wan could see ! 



45 



In course Pat met me at the dock, an' sez he : 

" Jimmy, man. 
There *s money for the arnin* here.' Sez I, thin, 

" Arn I can. 
I 'm bound to make a home for Biddy, waitin' out 

there for me ; 
An' I '11 niver know contintment, Pat, till her swate 

face I see !" 
I got a place as waiterman, an' worked wid might 

an' main 
To try an* plaze the Missus, an' forget the rale heart 

pain 
That would n't let me shlape o' nights for thinkin' 

of the day 
Whin Biddy kissed me on the ship before I crossed 

the say. 
The year was shlippin' on before I saved up twinty 

pound — 
But thin I bought a draft for Biddy ; my head wint 

round an' round ! 
I wrote a letther beggin' her to come widout delay ; 
And axed the Missus' lave to go and post it that 

same day. 
"Beggin' yer pardon. Ma'am," sez I, "If I might 

make so bould 
To find out how you sind yer letthers, I '11 know, 

jist if I 'm tould." 
Wid that the Missus shmiles an' sez, " You haven't 

far to go ; 
We puts 'em in the lamp-post, James, it 's strange 

you didn't know." 

46 



Well, I was kind o' bashful like— I did n't say no 

more, 
But makes my bow, and out I walks — there, jist 

beyant the door, 
The lamp-post stood, bad luck to it ! so, climbin' up, 

I wint 
An' shtuck an' shqueezed the letther in : " There 

now," sez I, "it 's sint : . . , 

Begorra, it 's not a handy way, to be climbin' up 

wid letthers ! 
But, thin, Amerikins is quare, an' I '11 not know 

more than my betthers." 
You'd scarce belave I got no answer — she niver 

wrote a line — 
I waited weeks, an' weeks on that, but Biddy made 

no sign. 
At last I tuk my pen in hand, an' axed for ould 

time's sake. 
If she would n't sind a word or two, for fear my 

heart would break. 
I tuk it to the Missus thm, and she put " Miss Biddy 

McKay !" 
(I thought my writm' might be bad and make it 

go astray) ; 
An' I wint into another sthreet an' tried a lamp- 
post there. 
But sorra an answer came to me ; my trouble was 

hard to bear. 
Wan day whin I was wonderin' what could the rea- 
son be. 
An* whether Biddy had taken up wid that rascal, 

Tommy Shee, 



47 



I thought that maybe some thievin' rogue had bin 

lookin' after the lamps 
An' shtealin' poor folks letthers too, bekase of the 

postage stamps ! 
So I sint her one more letther, wid the stamps inside 

so nate, 
An' wrote it on the kiver, too, that folks need n't 

think I 'd chate. 
An' I wint a long ways off now, to a lamp-post 

near the river, 
But all the same, for Biddy 's forgot, and she has n't 

answered, niver ! 
So my heart it 's broke intirely, wid the watchin' an* 

the watin'. 
An' since I 've lost swate Biddy McKay, the rest of 

the gurls I 'm hatin' ! 



48 



©yftat Si)i44L| 3ai4 iQ tfte 
pofice ©ourt* 



\JIS, luk at me now, if ye can, Tim; 

(§/ Luk in me face if ye dare ! 

It 's bruised an' it 's ugly — I know it — 

But sorra a bit do ye care, 
Ye dhrunken — I 'm ready, yer Honor; 

I '11 show ye 's the mark of Tim's fist, 
An' the black an' the blue bruise on me shoulther 

Where he pushed me agin the ould chist. 

Sure I will — do n't be winkin' at me, Tim; 

I 'm done wid ye now, ye can say. 
An* if ye 're sint up for a twelvemonth 

It's rejoicin* I 'd be ivery day — 
Whisht, officer — what 's that ye 're sayin* ? 

" Me complaint ? " why, what 's ailin' ye, man ? 
For sure an' I 'm afther complainin*, 

Yer Worship, as fast as I can ! 



49 



Whin ye kim home last night, now that 's thrue, Tim, 

The place was so purty an* nate, 
Wid such ilegant corn bafe and inyons 

Set out on me blue chaney plate; 
An' Molly a waitin' to show ye 

The beautiful medal she 'd got, 
An* me wid me fut on the cradle 

A kapin' the tay good an' hot. 

But, Tim, ye 'd bin dhrinkin*, ye blackguard; 

Yer wages was gone, ivery cint; 
An' ye b-a-ate an' abused me a-an' M-ol-ly 

For shpakin' a wurd of the r-r-rint; 
But whin ye turned over the table. 

An' smash ! wint me plate on the floor, 
An' angel cud niver kape silence. 

So thin — I '11 confess it — I swore ! 

Jist wance, an' ye need n't have minded. 

Well knowin' me timper is quick. 
But wurra ! ye knocked down the shtove, Tim, 

And batthered the wall wid yer shtick — 
Yis, an' broke the best chair, too, ye spalpeen ! 

No wonder the naybors tuk fright, 
Wid Molly an* Patsy, both scramin' 

Outside, in the cowld winter's night. * * * * 

What ! fine him tin dollars^ yer Honor ? 

Och, shure now, that 's hard on poor Tim ; 
'T was just the laste bit of a scrimmage — 

There 's husbands far worser nor him ! 



so 



But niver mind, darlint, here 's money — 

I 'd saved up a thrifle, ye see, 
By washin' an' clanin'— I '11 spind it, 

Mavourneen, to let you go free. 

So come along home wid her Biddy — 

There 's breakfast expectin' ye there ; ^ 
Sure ye *re needin' the bit an' the sup, Tim, 

Ye 're lukin' so white, yis, an' quare. 
See ! Molly 's outside there, a smilin', 

An' fifty cints left yit, asthore. 
Come on, Tim — good mornin', yer Honor, 

I won't be a-throublin* ye 's more ! 



51 



©Jfte n,ecox^6oy. 



(g\ /^ANT any papers, Mister ? 

Y Wish you 'd buy 'em of me — 
Ten year old, an' a fam'Iy, 

An' bizness dull, you see. 
Fact, boss ! There 's Tom an* Tibby, 

An* Dad, an' Mam, an' Mam's cat — 
None on 'em earnin' money. 

What do you think of that ? 

Could n't Dad work ? Why yes. Boss; 

He 's workin' for Gov'ment now — 
They give him his board for nothin*, 

All along of a drunken row. 
An' Mam ? v/ell, she 's in the poorhouse, 

Been there a year or so; 
So I 'm takin' care of the others; 

Doin' as well as I know. 

Tibby my sister ? Not much. Boss; 

She *s a kitten, a real Maltee ; 
I picked her up last Summer — 

Some boys was a drownin' of she; 
Throwed her inter a hogshead; 

But a p'liceman come along, 
So I jest grabbed up the kitten 

And put for home, good an* strong. 

And Tom 's my dog; he and Tibby 
Haint never quarrelled yet — 

53 



They sleeps in my bed in Winter, 
An' keeps me warm — you bet ! 

Mam *s cat sleeps in the corner, 
With a piller made of her paw — 

Can 't she growl like a tiger 
If any one comes to our straw ! 

Ought n't to live so ? Why, Mister, 

What 's a feller to do ? 
Some nights, when I 'm tired an' hungry, 

Seems as if each on 'cm knew — 
They '11 all three cuddle around me, 

Till I git cheery, and say : 
Well, p'raps I '11 have sisters an' brothers, 

An' money an' clothes, too, some day ! 

But if I do git rich, Boss, 

(An' a lecturin' chap one night 
Said newsboys could be Presidents 

If only they acted right); 
So, if I was President, Mister, 

The very first thing I 'd do, 
I *d buy poor Tom an' Tibby 

A dinner — an' Mam 's cat, too ! 

None o' your scraps an* leavin's, 

But a good square meal for all three; 
If you think I 'd skimp my friends, Boss, 

That shows you do n't know me. 
So 'ere 's yer papers — come, take one; 

Gimme a lift if you can — 
For now you 've heard my story. 

You see I 'm a fam'ly man ! 



53 



f^e ^ai. ^fon/ of Si)Po66x^ 
anil ^\A puffef. 



>^N a tiny country villa lived our Blobbs, but all 

alone ; 
Never wife nor chubby children this staid bachelor 

had known. 
Yet — for hearts must cling to something — he had 

made himself a pet 
Of a little snow-white pullet, with her wings just 

tipped with jet. 
Daily feeding and caressing, these had won the pul- 
let's heart ; 
Following close her master's footsteps, seldom they 

were far apart ; 
And his love grew deeper, stronger, with the passing 

of each day 

" Wiser far than any woman," wicked Blobbs was 

wont to say. 



Near by rose a wondrous structure — architects their 
brains had racked — 

Cross between a Chinese temple and a cruet-stand, 
in fact. 

This the pretty pullet's dwelling; here she hastened 
every night; 

Perched on high, became a rooster till the dawning 
of the light. 

One sad day a Yankee peddler, glib, persuading, pas- 
sing by. 

Gazed at Blobbs and that poor pullet with a calcu- 
lating eye. 

From his wagon's deep recesses drew out, smiling 
wickedly, 

" Johnson's Patent Hen-Persuader ;" then to guile- 
less Blobbs said he : 

" Here 's a marvelous invention ! In this box you 
see a nest ; 

Hens at once will lay an egg here, lured to do their 
very best. 

Then behold ! this sliding bottom lets the egg drop 
out of view. 

And the hen, somewhat bewildered, lays at once 
egg number two !" 

'Twouid be useless to repeat all that this wily ped- 
dler said ; 

This suffices, Blobbs, unwary, by his specious tongue 
misled. 

Bought the " Patent Hen-Persuader," set his snow- 
white pullet on. 

Locked them both within the hen-house ete he v/ c::t 
to town that morn. 



Business then engrossed him fully, till, with nu- 

m'rous cares beset, 
Who can wonder that the pullet and her nest he 

should forget ? 
Nothing all day to remind him ; but returning late 

at night, 
Flashed a sudden recollection, and his cheek grew 

pale with fright. 
Rushing madly from the station, straight he sought 

the hen-house door, 
Called his pet in tones entreating. Ah ! she '11 

never answer more ! 
Full of gloomiest forebodings, in he dashes ; finds 

the nest 
Overflowing with its treasures — yes, she 's done her 

level best. 
Forty-seven eggs ! and near them head and tail and 

wings still lay, 
For the poor ambitious pullet thus had laid herself 

away ! 



36 



J\i2 ^4^ciP ^ftalterec^* 



9DERAPHINA, young and lovely, with a fortune 

at command, 
Had a host of ardent suitors, each aspiring to her 

hand ; 
But she smiled not on their wooing, and she cared 

not for their woes. 
For she loved a bright ideal, with a haughty Roman 

nose. 
In her waking dreams she saw him — tall, with raven 

locks above. 
While beneath his brow majestic curved the 7iose 

that she could love — 
And all other men grew hateful, and with longing 

look she cried, 
" Come ! a life's devotion waits thee ! come and 

claim thy willing bride !" 
Love, with soft entreating accents, sought in vain 

the maiden's heart; 
Eyes sent out their killing glances, manly figures did 

their part, 



57 



All in vain : her virgin fancy by the nose was cap- 
tive led, 

And to each who came a-wooing, " No," was all the 
maiden said. 

Sternest Fate brought retribution. At a brilliant 
ball, one night, 

Seraphina met her hero — that loved nose beamed 
on her sight. 

Colonel Montagu Augustus (name as high-bred as 
his looks ; 

What a pity truth must spoil it by that vile cogno- 
men, Sfiooks I) 

Tall, with raven locks and whiskers, and — most po- 
tent charm of all — 

Roman nose, whose grand proportions held her very 
soul in thrall. 

Well, the story needs no telling: each seemed to the 
other drawn. 

Talking, walking, glancing, dancing, soon the bliss- 
ful hours had gone. 

Colonel Montagu Augustus in the graceful role of 
lover, 

Seraphina gazing fondly at the nose that towered 
above her. 

Meeting upon meeting followed: luckless lovers, one 
by one. 

Saw the fortress of her fancy yield ere siege was 
well begun. 

Ere the winter snows had vanished, ere the blos- 
soming of spring. 

At her side his nose was carried, on her fmger shone 
his ring. 

58 



'Mid the disappointed suitors who for Seraph ina 

pined, 
One rash youth to schemes of vengeance had de- 
voted heart and mind, 
"Words are useless," so he answered to the friends 

who would advise — 
" Words are useless while my rival flaunts that nose 

before my eyes !" 
And he hastened from their presence with such an- 
guish in his air 
That he filled them with forebodings dark and deep 

as his despair 
That same evening Seraphina and her charming 

Montagu, 
Tired of crowds and gay confusion, stole an hour to 

bill and coo. 
Side by side, their hands close-clasping, he then: 

" Dearest, name the day." 
She, enraptured, softly s'ghing, "Who that knows 

thee could say nay .?" 
In that moment, hark! a footstep, then a hand flung 

wide the door — 
Seraphina's cast-off suitor gazes on her face once 

more. 
"Mr. Simpkins !" cries the maiden: "unexpected 

pleasure this — • 
Colonel Snooks — so glad to see you " (though she 

didn 't look her bliss). 
Simpkins answered not her greeting. Onward, with 

a single stride, 
Past the chair she would have offered, he had 

reached the Colonel's side. 



Something strange in his demeanor thrilled poor 

Seraphina's heart 
With a sense of coming evil, but in vain her scream 

and start. 
" Seraphina, I have lost you," Simpkins mutters as 

he stands; 
" Well I know what came between us " — wildly 

clenching both his hands. 
" But if I might wreak my vengeance on the cause 

of all my woe. 
Pull that nose once, then, contented, I could from 

your presence go." 
Quick as thought his hand is lifted — he has grasped 

that lovely nose — 
See ! he starts ! he pales ! he trembles ! see his 

nerveless grasp unclose ! 
While poor Montagu Augustus, groaning sinks into 

a chair. 
With too little nose to speak of, and a face of white 

despair. 
But the crumbling waxen fragments, as from Simp- 
kins* hand they fell. 
And were scattered o'er the carpet, had their own 

sad tale to tell. 
Seraphina's scream of terror died in anguish sore 

away; 
" Where *s your nose 2'' she questioned faintly, then 

in deadly swoon she lay; 
For the fearful truth had smote her, as she caught 

the Colonel's eye — 
He had lost his nose in battle; she had loved a 

waxen lie ! 

60 



©lamonil (©ut ©lamoniL, 



^OLOMON SCHAFF was a cunning knave, 

Eager to make, and ready to save, 
Fond as a barber might be of a " shave," 
If only the law its sanction gave. 

Now the reason for this recital, 
Is merely to show that in saving his pelf 
This cunning sharper outwitted himself, 

And met with a fit requital. 

On his fortieth birthday, Solomon Schaff 
Began to think of a *' better half," 

And to tire of his bachelor living. 
Of course, as he was abnormally thin, 
He fancied a fair one with double chin; 
" I 'm lean and she *s fat, 
There 's profit in that," 
Quoth he; "I get more than I 'm giving !" 

"Courtship 's a very extravagant thing," 
Said Solomon Schaff. " She '11 look for a ring, 
For bonbons, bouquets and all that; 
But shall / waste my cash 
On such profitless trash ? 
No, indeed ; I 'm too sharp for a flat !" 



6i 



Ilowe'er, when the wedding day drew near, 
Mr. Schaff was seized with a bright idea, 

So he found out an artist needy — 
" I want a portrait, you want some cash," 
Briefly he said, to young Rubens Flash. 
" A half-length will do, 
That 's half-price for you; 
You 'd better agree, you 're so seedy." 



Well, Flash was poor, so the bargain was struck. 
" He ! ho !" said Solomon ; " I 'm in luck !" 

And he couldn 't smother a titter. 
Flash worked away like a busy elf, 
But he whistled softly and smiled to himself, 

As he gazed on his scheming sitter. 

A week had sped, then, to Schaff' s delight, 
Flash wrote him : " Your picture is finished quite ^ 

And sent as you gave me direction^ 
Most carefully packed, to Miss Caroline Reed ; 
Please hand to the bearer the price as agreed, 
For I *m sure you 'II be 
III an ec Stacy 
When you give it a careful inspection!' 



Quickly the cheque was written and sent, 

And the evening brought Solomon, well content, 

To sit by the side of his charmer ; 
But, alas ! what cruel reverse is this ? 



62 



She turns away from his proffered kiss, 
And with looks of scorn, 
She bids him "Begone !" 
As if his mere presence could harm her. 

"What is it ?" poor Solomon, v/ondering, cries; 
The lady surve) s him with wrathful surprise, 

Then suddenly raising a curtain; 
"Your present," in angriest tones she exclaimed ; 
And there was a picture, m.ost showily framed, 

But veiled in a shadow uncertain. 



Nearer and nearer then Solomon drew, 
But he starts back aghast ! What is this meets 
his view ? 
A half-length the artist had painted ; 
But, dreadful to tell, the half that Flash chose 
Began at Sol's watch chain and stopped at his toes / 
'Twas too fearful a joke ; 
Poor Schaff never spoke. 
But prone on the carpet he fainted 



IMy story is told — 

Miss Reed, stern and cold, 

Would listen to no explanation ; 
And Solomon's life 
Was uncheered by a wife, 

To his own great chagrin and vexation. 



63 



OFi. l^ocftia>e)ar« 



^H, old Lochinvar drove down the broad street, 

No equipage finer, no steeds half so fleet ; 
And save his smart groom he companion had none; 
He rode in his holiday garb all alone. 
So successful in trade, so famed near and far. 
There was never man richer than old Lochinvar. 

So boldly he entered at Jenkins' front door, 
'Mong bridemaids and kinsmen and brothers, a 

score ; 
Then spoke the bride's father, with bow and glad 
* smile 

(Though the handsome young bridegroom grew 

pallid the while) ; 
" Great honor you do us — so famed near and far — 
Pray, what is your pleasure, milord Lochinvar ?" 

" I love your fair daughter, but cruel is fate ! 
I heard but this morning that I v/as too late. 
And now I am come, with this lost love of mine, 
To whirl in one dance. It is vain to repine, 
For maidens in plenty — young, lovely they are — 
Would gladly be bride to the old Lochinvar." 

64 



The bride smiled her sweetest, he took her fair 

hand, 
" The gayest of waltzes !" he cried to the band ; 
She looked down to blush, she looked up to sigh, 
With a smile on her lip and a flash in her eye. 
His arm round her waist 'ere her bridegroom could 

bar : 
" My bride shall have millions !" quoth old Loch- 
invar. 

Though bent was his form, though poor was his 

pace, 
Yet every beholder said only : " What grace !" 
While her father did smile, and her mother did 

bow, 
And the bridegroom drew near with a frown on his 

brow. 
And the bridemaidens whispered, " T were better 

by far 
To wed this fair creature to rich Lochinvar !" 

A ring on her finger, a word in her ear. 

They had reached the hall door, and his carriage 

stood near ; 
So light in her seat the fair maiden upsprang. 
So quickly the carriage-door closed with a bang ! 
" She is won ! We are off ! In love, as in war, 
The cleverest wins," laughed old Lochinvar. 



65 



(J\n ^i^teYcepteil "bettei^. 



OOW, Bella, darling, please do n*t scold — I *m hor- 
rid mean, I know, 
And such a sweet, long letter, too, you sent me 

weeks ago ! 
I read it, dear, a thousand times, and carried it 

about 
For days and days, but then you know I 'm always 

going out. 
I have n't had an evening to myself for — I can 't 

tell— 
And mornings I 'm completely fagged, as you can 

fancy. Bell. 
I 've had a lovely winter, though — such lots of nice 

new beaus. 
And one, the nicest of them all — but, Bella, don't 

suppose 
I 've got a tender secret, dear — no ! no ! I 'm not a 

dunce ; 
He 's splendid, but he '?>poor, and so that ends the 

thing at once. 
I met him in the country, Bell — the loveliest dark 

gray eyes ! 
He 's rather quiet — giggling men I always did de- 
spise ! 
Of course we flirted — moonlight strolls, and rows 

upon the river, 



And flowers and music — bow he sings ! it makes 

one's heartstrings quiver ! 
He 's not too tall — I 've changed m.y mind on that 

and other things ; 
The tallest men are not the best for husbands or for 

kings. 
And Fred — my favorite name, you know — but there ! 

you needn't fear, 
I 'm not in love — not in the least — believe me, Bella, 

dear ! 
I wouldn't marry — no, not I— an angel from the 

skies, 
Unless he was a millionaire — I 've grown so worldly 

wise. 
I 've told Fred so a dozen times, it 's only fair, you 

see; 
He likes my frankness, and besides, it leaves us both 

quite free. 
(Not that he cares for other girls — he 's always 

satisfied 
To be my escort, or to spend his evenings at my 

side.) 
And then he says such lovely things, that quite as- 
tonish me — • 
Why, Bell, I never knev/ before v/hat friendship 

ought to be ! 
Good-bye, forgive this stupid scrawl — but then, 

there 's nothing new. 

Write soon and often, Bella dear, to yours most 
fondly. 

Sue. 



(>7 



p. s.— 

You *I1 be astonished, Bella, but — I wrote this yes- 
terday. 

And Fred has made an offer since, and — dear, what 
could I say ? 

He *s such a handsome fellow, and he loves me, oh ! 
so dearly — 

He says we '11 be so happy, that— new tell me Bell, 
sincerely, 

Would you have coldly turned away, and answered 
him with " No ?" 

When all the time you knew quite well he did n't 
mean to go ! 

Would it have been a Christian act to crush his 
hopes like that ? 

Besides, I think I 'd like to try housekeeping on 
a flat. 

I 've learned (you need n't laugh) to make such ex- 
cellent corn-bread; 

I mean to be the very best of wives to darling 
Fred ! 

Of course you '11 be my bridesmaid. Bell — I have n't 
fixed the day, 

But Fred 's in such a hurry now I do n't know what 
to say. 



Qunice (Syrai 



Q ICHARD Latham and Eunice Gray 

VS) Stood in the porch one summer's day, 
She was the belle of our little town, 
Lithe and graceful, sparkling and brown, 
Ready for frolic or mischief or mirth. 
As winsome a creature as trod this earth. 

He, tall and slender, pale and fair. 
With a serious smile and a studious air. 
Grave and silent, yet strange to say, 
He had lost his heart to Eunice Gray ; 
And he stood there pleading as if for life — 
Wooing the gypsy to be his wife, 
While Eunice listened with deepening frown, 
Crumpling a rose in her fingers brown. 

She turned at last with her cheeks aflame, 
Though cold and hard her answer came : 
" Richard, you are too poor for wooing — 
To v/ed you now would be love's undoing. 
Go — seek your fortune — or plead no more. 
You have heard, perchance, of a wise old saw- 
* When in at the door comes poverty. 
Then out at the window love will flee * ? 
And," laughing lightly, " I fear 't is true 
That my love would never come back to you.*' 



6g 



A chill blank silence between them fell, 
Broken at last by his low " Farewell ! 
You have willed it, Eunice ; when next we meet 
The gold you crave shall be laid at your feet." 

Then the gate latch clicked — the birds sang on — 
The bees hummed softly — her lover had gone ! 
And the rose she had toyed with, crimson and 

sweet, 
Lay trampled under her heedless feet. 

PART SECOND. 

A half-score years had passed away 

Since Richard Latham and Eunice Gray 

Stood in the porch that summer's day. 

Those years had stolen in their flight 

From her cheek its bloom, from her eye its light- — 

From look and manner the nameless spell 

That had made her once the village belle. 

A pale, grave woman was Eunice now ; 

A woman with deep-lined, thoughtful brow, 

Who strove to hide her life's regret 

By the sad, fixed smile on her pale lips set. 

Nothing she spake of the hopes or fears 

That went and came with the changing years ; 

Never a word of the growing dread 

With which her mirror's tale she read ; 

But wrapped and silent she went her way, 

Till one by one would sigh and say : 

'' How changed she is, r^oor Eunice Gray !" 



70 



'T was June once more-— at the ten years' close 
Once more in the porch she gathered a rose, 
But her pale, still face sharp contrast made 
To the dainty flower with which she played, 
And she sang in a low, soft, quivering tone: 

^'Ah ? youth and hope together have flown ! 
Sweet youth! sweet hope ! they went together — 

Can this be June ? 
To me it seems like wintry weather. 

Life out of tune I 
I have ivaited long^ my heart is weary — 

Once at my feet 
Love poured such treasure. Ah ! pride is dreary^ 

And love is sweet.'' 



Over the threshold a shadow fell, 

And a voice that Eunice remembered well 

Answered her song : " Can love be sweet ? 

Why, once you spurned it, laid at your feet ! 

Now I have brought you a golden key. 

But the heart it fits is too poor for me [ 

That was a foolish boy you knew 

Who knelt for a worthless boon to sue — 

That was a maiden vain and cold 

Who bartered his passionate love for gold — 

Now in their places stand to-day 

A pallid wom.an, a man grown gray. 

Whose chill, sad touch — whose weak desire 

Can never rekindle the long-dead fire !" 



^acft^x^ teffer. 



^ STOOD by the Post Office window one day 

In our little rustic village, 
When came an old dame, whose air seemed to say, 
She knew less of letters than tillage. 

" Here 's something for you, ma'am," was what the 
clerk said. 

As he handed the missive duly; 
But the poor old woman just shook her head, 

She could n't read writing, truly. 

" Do let me help you," at once I began ; 

She smiled and handed it over. 
I saw, as my eye through the letter ran, 

That it came from her Jack, the rover. 

^^Dear Mother'' — the writing was really so bad 
I stopped here and heard her mutter, 

As I puzzled it out — "Ay, bless the lad, 
It 's from Jack — he always did stutter /'* 



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